By Peter Holloway
An Awkward Debriefing
(In memory of a pupil, long since departed, for whom the simplest of
questions presented huge philosophical problems.)
INSTRUCTOR- Did it occur to you that adjusting the trim might have
made a significant difference to the quality of that landing?
PUPIL- What I think we need to clarify is the role of the trim in the
overall context of flying controls generally. Why should we particularise
the trim as you have done, when rudder and elevator may be equally
valid? What we should be doing is factoring into this equation a wider
and deeper awareness into the aerodynamic significance of the trim in all
of its multifarious operational modes.
INSTRUCTOR- Er, do you dislike using the trim?
PUPIL- Your question poses a further question in the way that it is
formulated. Do we have a compelling strategy for confronting a problem
of this nature, where what is paramount, is a persuasive new theory of
energy perception rooted in the encounter with the trim, as a useful
adjunct in the decoding of our aviation experience. And I think you will
agree that I cannot answer more clearly than that?
INSTRUCTOR- (Beginning to have regrets) Have you ever found the
trim useful- so to speak?
PUPIL- Can we reconcile the conflicting imperatives of that which can be
considered conceptually useful, with the perhaps more concrete, albeit
more mundane physicality, of the trim taken as an object………
INSTRUCTOR- …..If you just give me your card, that is to say your
concrete record of attainment…..er, physically speaking.
Extract from a newsletter written in 2005